A US District Court judge awarded fashion designer Alexander Wang $90 million in damages in a trademark counterfeiting and cybersquatting case against 50 defendants who run 459 websites. The court froze the defendants’ websites and transferred their domain names to Wang.
Unfortunately, since most of the domain owners are nearly impossible to locate (and none of them showed up in court), Wang will likely never get the $90 million in damages. Cybersquatters often use fake names and bogus information in domain name registrations, leaving the courts to award default judgments. This fact was echoed in WWD’s report that a spokesperson for Wang said, "The court system regularly awards very large amounts for the symbolic significance, as a means of deterring other individuals and parties. In other words, Alexander Wang is unlikely to receive $90 million."
According to The Fashion Law, Operation in Our Sites, enables US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to work with partner organizations, like PayPal, to seize funds from accounts associated with defendants and websites selling counterfeit goods. But, since many domain owners are aware of this effort, they constantly move most of their money out of online accounts, leaving only small amounts behind available for seizure.